The Delhi Police has invoked terror provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against four people who were arrested in connection with the security breach in Parliament on Wednesday, PTI reported quoting unidentified officials.

In a security breach in Parliament, two men had jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the visitors’ gallery and opened gas-emitting canisters.

Footage from the Lok Sabha’s close-circuit television camera system showed one man jumping across desks to evade security personnel and another spraying smoke from a canister. Both of them were later overpowered by MPs and security staff.

The incident took place on the anniversary of the Parliament attack when, on December 13, 2001, terrorists entered the Parliament complex and began shooting with AK-47 rifles. The attack had left nine people dead.

On Wednesday, the police arrested four people in the security breach case filed at Parliament Street police station under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with an intent to cause riot), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 452 (trespass), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servants from discharge of their duty) of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 16 and 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act that deal with acts of terrorism.

The four accused have been identified as Manoranjan D and Sagar Sharma, who broke into the Lok Sabha, and Neelam Azad and Amol Shinde, who allegedly opened smoke canisters and shouted “stop dictatorship” slogans outside Parliament.

Those arrested are reported to be part of a group of six persons who planned and executed the incident.

“We have made their arrest and are conducting raids to nab their associate, Lalit Jha, who is absconding at the moment,” The Indian Express quoted a police official as saying. “The investigation has been handed over to the Counter Intelligence Unit of Special Cell.”

They will be produced before the Patiala House Court on Thursday to seek police custody for further investigation, the officer added.

The official also told The Indian Express that all the accused had arrived in Delhi separately over the last few days, and it was Jha who allegedly took them to the house of his friend, Vicky, in Gurugram.

“The accused started planning the security breach in January, and Manoranjan even carried out a recce as he visited the Parliament complex during the Monsoon Session,” an officer said, adding that they had sought the visitors’ pass from Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pratap Simha, who is their local MLA.

On Wednesday, the Union Home Ministry set up a committee headed by Central Reserve Police Force Director-General Anish Dayal Singh to investigate the security breach.

The committee will investigate the reasons for the breach, identify lapses and recommend further action, a ministry spokesperson said.

Eight security personnel have been suspended in connection with the security breach, PTI reported.

Commenting on the matter on Thursday, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi questioned why Home Minister Amit Shah did not comment on the security breach, and why Simha “continues working without any action”.

Security panel not reconstituted since 2019, say Opposition MPs

Opposition MPs have alleged that the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Security in Parliament Complex has not been reconstituted during the current term of the Lok Sabha, according to The Hindu.

“Speaker Sumitra Mahajan used to head the panel,” said Trinamool Congress MP Sougata Ray, who was a member of the committee during the previous Lok Sabha term between 2014 and 2019. “I don’t know if this committee is functioning now or not.”

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Tiruchi Siva said that he had asked the Rajya Sabha chairman about the absence of the committee and urged that the panel be set up immediately.

The Opposition MPs said that they have been raising concerns over the security arrangements of the new parliament complex since it started functioning in September.

They also said they have been complaining about “political bias” in granting gallery passes to visitors as well as the increased deployment of private security personnel instead of the Parliament’s own security staff and other Central police forces, The Hindu reported.